Thursday, 2 August 2007

Day 27 review - A landmark day!

Before I start today's review I must let everyone know that Katy and Jack have just left Bristol Airport on their way back to Newcastle on a £1.99 flight. Never let it be said that this tour hasn't been done on a shoestring budget. They will resume their support duties next Tuesday by arriving on a £14.99 flight. I pushed the boat out for that one!

In the meantime, the next support person, Owen McMahon, is due to arrive at Bristol Airport later this evening. I've had a few messages from Owen (hereafter to be known as Rab C McMahon for reasons that will soon become obvious) and he seems to be enjoying a few Magners on ice up there in Glasgow Airport waiting for his flight to board. "There's nee rash to get te Bisal Airpat, big mon. I'll jast haf a beer in the bar and wait for ye tal ye arrive." was the last message. What can go wrong!

Anyway back to this morning where we left the digs in Bromsgrove and for once had a short journey to make to the start point just south of Kidderminster. Once underway, it took until after the first mile to really get going as my legs were aching from the last few day's quick pace. My legs haven't ached in this way for weeks. It was nice to have some good old fashioned post 25 mile run leg pain instead of that new fangled excruciating shin and hamstring pain. Speaking of the hamstring, it hardly aches at all these days. I'm leaving the support bandage on just in case.

The first 10 miles were on the A449 which was a combination of path and road. The traffic wasn't too bad but I still didn't let me concentration slip for a minute. A couple of U2 albums provided the soundtrack to this part of the run and this made the miles go over a bit quicker. I've listened to thousands of songs in the last 4 weeks and I'm up to the letter "U" on the iPod artist list! It seems like a long time ago when I was listening to Dire Straits in Inverness.

The first banana stop was just before Worcester at the 10 mile point. I had a couple of bananas and a ham sandwich before making my way through the town centre. And what a town centre it was! I've never seen so much totty in one place. Was there a modelling conference on or something? Naturally, I stuck my chest out and increased the pace as I ran past the ladies while trying to avoid any oncoming lamp posts! New injury alert! A bit of neck strain!

I soon found my way through the town and onto the A38. I'll be on this road for quite a few miles to come as it winds it's way through Gloucester, Bristol and beyond.

I checked the website for pledges, just before I got to Severn Stoke. To my amazement the fund had gone over £15,000. I updated my website immediately to say thank you to all concerned.

Then came another unexpected surprise. An exiled Geordie, Jon Cockerill (pictured), who'd seen my story on NUFC.COM pulled over and stopped to say hello. In fact, he ran a mile with me until the next water stop. As well as discussing the big run, the latest transfer news was also the hot topic and he brought me up to speed on the potential signings of Alan Smith and Cacapa. Getting this type of impromptu support while on the road really means a lot to me and the next few miles were at a much quicker pace (11, 10 and 12 minute mile pace). Jon also made a generous contribution to the fund which was greatly appreciated.

Time was getting on and due to having to get to Bristol Airport on time I called it a day at the 22.5 mile point. We got there in plenty of time and I said a sad farewell to Katy and Jack. They'll be back again on Tuesday to guide me safely reach Lands End.

I've now ran 630 miles leaving an average of 24 miles a day for the next 10 days. Nee bother!